Monday, December 06, 2021

P153.5-M feeder port seen to spur ‘new opportunities’ for Negrenses

NEGROS. The just turned over P153.5 million Sagay Feeder Port to the City Government of Sagay positioned to boost the market value of agricultural and fishery products in the city and nearby localities. (Capitol photos)

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas, through the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), has turned over the P153.5-million Sagay Feeder Port to the City Government of Sagay positioned to boost the market value of agricultural and fishery products in the city and nearby localities.

Located in the city’s Barangay Old Sagay, the 280-meter feeder port and fish landing project is funded by the World Bank with counterparts of 10 percent each from the national government and Provincial Government of Negros Occidental.

DA-Western Visayas Regional Director Remelyn Recoter, who was present at the blessing and turnover rites on Wednesday, October 21, said this is one of the big-ticket projects in the region.

“More projects are yet to be turned over like farm-to-market roads, bridges and livelihood enterprises in the province,” she added.

PRDP Deputy Director for Western Visayas Jose Albert Barrogo said as they unveil the feeder port, it will open more opportunities for shipping not just passengers but also exporting goods of Sagay City to other places in the country.

He said the project is expected to benefit at least 22,000 farmers and fisherfolk, aside from those of nearby towns and cities in the northern part of Negros Occidental.

The paperwork for the project started in 2016 and the official construction started in the following year.

The timeline of the construction was extended because of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who spoke at the activity, said the project will provide the needed push to improve production, optimize income capacity and mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic on the agricultural sector.

As he thanked the implementing agencies, Lacson also recognized the efforts of both former governors, Joseph and Alfredo Marañon Jr., who started this initiative during their terms as city and provincial heads, respectively.

“When agriculture and fisheries are developed and enhanced, plus the fact that as an archipelago we have a rich marine life and aquatic resources, we begin to have not just food security, but also food accessibility for every Filipino,” he said.

The governor also reminded Sagaynons that as this port will create new opportunities, they should continue to practice responsible fishing and farming.

“Let us meet our present needs without jeopardizing the ability of the next generation to meet their own,” he said.

The Sagay Feeder Port also has direct access to Batangas Port, Estancia Port of Iloilo, Bantayan Cebu Port, Tabuelan Port in Cebu, Estancia Port in Iloilo, Cebu International Port, Bredco Port in Bacolod City, and Cadiz International Port.

The local government, in a statement, said the city is also home to the 180-hectare Northern Negros Agro-Industrial Export Processing Zone.

The economic zone is 11-kilometer away from the Sagay Feeder Port.

Second District Representative Leo Rafael Cueva it is vital to have a nearer port to have easier export of products.

Cueva said as the feeder port will give more access to other ports in the country, the export of agricultural and marine products from Sagay and nearby localities will be more possible.

“Access to ports is very vital to create an economic zone. Once we have our locators in our ecozone, we can generate more employment and business opportunities,” Cueva said.

Expressing his gratitude to the lead offices for finishing the five-year project, Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Marañon III said there are still more things that should be done to improve the feeder port.

He also asked the help of the provincial government and DA-Western Visayas to realize these endeavors. (With reports from Sagay and Capitol PIO)


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